Clio Logo

The Bedford Court House, located in Bedford Village was built in 1787. The court house is known for being the oldest government building in Westchester County and one of only three court houses in New York State that was constructed before 1800. William Jay, the son of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay serve at this courthouse. Also, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson's Vice President served in this courtroom.


  • Bedford Court House.
  • Bedford Court House in 1933.
  • Bedford Court House in 1908.

During the Revolutionary War the county courthouses in White Plains and the Presbyterian church in Bedford, which was also used as a court house were burned down. Therefore, in 1787, the Bedford Court House was built. In January of 1788 the first session at the new courthouse was held. (1)

In the 1840's, when the railroads reached northern Westchester and travel to White Plains became a lot easier the Bedford Court House was used less in favor of the one in White Plains. By 1870 the Board of Supervisors decided that one county courthouse was enough and therefore closed the Bedford Court House (1)

In 1878, The Board of Supervisors gave the courthouse to the Town of Bedford. It was used for town meetings, elections, and other community events for the next several decades. In the 1960s the town, along with the Bedford Historical Society worked to restore the old courthouse to its 19th century appearance. (1)

William Jay, the son of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay serve at this courthouse. Also, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson's Vice President served in this courtroom. (2)

As of 1970 the Court House in Bedford is used as a museum. The Bedford Historical Society holds mock trials for local students in the courtroom. First floor exhibits include rooms where Aaron Burr and William Jay sat as justices. On the second floor of the museum you can find the oldest jail cell in Westchester County (4).

  1. Williams, Gray. Jackson, Kenneth T.. Picturing Our Past National Register Sites in Westchester County. New York. 2003.
  2. The Bedford Museum at the 1878 Bedford Court House, Bedford Historical Society. September 24th 2018. Accessed April 20th 2020. https://www.bedfordhistoricalsociety.org/museum_exhibits/.
  3. Brenner, Elsa. "In Westchester, Picturesque Prosperity." The New York Times January 7th 2014. .
  4. Courhouse and Bedford Museum, Bedford Historical Society. Accessed April 21st 2020. https://www.bedfordhistoricalsociety.org/court-house-bedford-museum.
Image Sources(Click to expand)

Westchester County Historical Society. Photo by Gray Williams.

Westchester County Historical Society.

Westchester County Historical Society.